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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.

The audiobook is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the ancient world's wisest man; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

But the most recognizable character remains unnamed, the lucky fool in the right place at the right time - the embodiment of the "Survival of the Least Fit". Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru's insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance.

It may be impossible to guard against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

©2004 Nassim Nicholas Taleb; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"[Taleb is] Wall Street's principal dissident....[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther's ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church." (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)
"An articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider." (Amazon.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Exceptional insights on everything that matters

Excellent narration for the audio book.. The book itself is exceptional.. Should have read much earlier.. Immediately doing a re-read.

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Aiuthor is goes on and about a single point

Book can be summarized in one line. Very booring and repetitive. Stopped after four chapters.

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very engaging and thoughtful.

The book was very well written and I can see myself reading this book over and over.

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Add chapter names and

Add chapter names not numbers.
Add pictures and show on screen and sync them with reading

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One of the most influential books of my life.

I read it in one sitting the first time 10 years ago. be willing to listen when an open mind, wrestle with the ideas and premises and make them your own. Now that I have this on Audible I will probably listen to it annually.

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Truth in Random Form

Would you listen to Fooled by Randomness again? Why?

Yes! Nassim Taleb has a grasp and acceptance of a concept many claim to have but few do in reality. I would have like a little more specifics on his exact definition of randomness (he mentions in a few places what it is NOT). However, it works as is.

What other book might you compare Fooled by Randomness to and why?

The Drunkards Walk,

What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

Clear, understandable, and unpretentious.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No.

Any additional comments?

EVERYONE should read this book. Though most examples come from the world of Wall Street, it applies to EVERYTHING in life.

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Another Great!

Another great book by Mr. Taleb! Highly recommended! I always enjoy his valuable insight and whitty humor.

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such a waste of time

What would have made Fooled by Randomness better?

To be honest, I didn't finish the book. I didn't want to waste any more of my time after 3h of listening. While Taleb's writing style is poor, what really put me off is that this book felt more like a confused ramble. Did he put some serious thought in it, or did he just write down whatever random thought came to his mind? It's a shame, because the topic is interesting. To summarize what I assume he was trying to say: There is a lot more randomness is in our life than we assume and that we are not good in thinking probabilistically. We also easily mix up correlation with causation. All together I couldn't find any new insight that was worth while. In addition he keeps going on about how smart he is compared to his bosses and journalists and whoever else. It was just very terrible to listen to.

Would you ever listen to anything by Nassim Nicholas Taleb again?

probably not

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

mostly good performance, some strange long pauses though.

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Deep Thoughts with a Light Touch

One of the areas of study that I find most fascinating is seeking to understand cognitive biases. This book addresses many of these human blind spots. It has great rigor, and breadth as well as depth. But a self-deprecating sense of humor accompanies the journey, and the travel is fun as well as enlightening.
I especially enjoyed the author's expert treatment of social science concepts in a business context. Heartily Recommended.

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Great listen

Excellent book by NNT. If you think that nothing is by chance, this book is for you.